All photos: David Bronstein
If reviews of last weekends Camden Rocks are only filtering through now, well there is a legitimate reason. Us writers and photographers had to digest roughly 200 bands in 20 different venues over half a day. Whew! It was spectacular as much as it was fun, as Camden went into hyper drive when the streets, bars and iconic venues starting filling by midday in this annual celebration of all things rock.
Unsigned and signed bands were brought together in such venues as The Underworld, The Barfly, Dingwalls and The Electric Ballroom to name a few. All of these venues are and have been for many years staple venues for Londoners.
Evil Scarecrow shook up the Ballroom with a fun self depreciating show, this band don’t just come on and play they involve the crowd in every song. Band members had no problem to dive into the crowd and mingle whilst songs such as “Robototron” and “Crabulon” kept fans more than happy. Strange beings entered the stage in between songs and the special effects came in the form of New Year party poppers. It’s all done on a minimum budget, but one feels that as this great band grow which they are ever doing those effects will get all the more better. As for the music we are treated to 45 minutes of head splitting metal fun that left the crowd in a joyous mood.
Scottish veterans GUN also appeared at the Ballroom and delighted fans with their 80’s and 90’s hits which included classics such as “Don’t Say It’s Over” and “Better Days”. The band were having a great time on stage and that only affected the now drenched crowd in a positive way. The biggest cheer inevitably was saved for “Word Up” a Cameo cover that GUN made their own over 20 years ago.
Ginger Wildheart best known as the energetic front-man of 1990’s rockers The Wildhearts played three gigs in one day on three different venues. But it was his show at The Forge which was arguably the most memorable. Stripped down to an acoustic set, the singer spun through songs such as “Forget About It”, “Mother City” and three Wildhearts covers ending with “29 x the Pain”. The singer was in a cheery mood, at one point asking for a beer and seeing over a dozen hands raised to give him one.
At the Underworld The Algorithm had the packed out crowd practically hypnotized as the two members gave us a thunderstorm of beats. Arguably pound for pound the loudest band of Camden Rocks, they blended Techno beats with something that sounded like the latest chords from the new Slayer record. Yes you need to go and see them, right now.
There was much talk about M O S E S who were playing a few shows on the streets of Camden, and when the band appeared on stage at the Ballroom, the hype was justified within seconds. Here we had a band that felt refreshing as they claimed the stage as their own, they were, to put it mildly, like wild animals let outside of their cage- and they impressed. You should be hearing much more of this band and it would be no surprise within a year to 18 months if M O S E S are not more wildly known. This early evening in Camden could well be claimed by then to have been a “I was there moment”.
The Cribs were one of the final acts of the night and the British band did not disappoint, playing a stunning set packed full of hits. Opening up with “Our Bovine Public” the frantic and energized show continued with such hits as “Cheat on Me”, “City Storms” and the show came to a triumphant close with “Pink Snow”.
Camden Rocks was a sell out and it’s no surprise that the festival has become a regular staple fixture within the summer festivals in England. Roll on 2017!